4 Aug 2023

Naughty porker who shut down SH16 and evaded police finally captured

From Checkpoint, 5:55 pm on 4 August 2023

For nearly two weeks a roaming piggy who shut down Auckland's State Highway 16 has evaded capture. In the end, it was the temptation of a banana that lured him into a trap Thursday afternoon. 

The little pig is now at the Henderson Animal Shelter and if he is not claimed, Auckland Council will look to rehome him.

The naughty porker was having a rest at last on Friday morning at the shelter. 

It had been a tough life on the road for the last two weeks or so, holding up traffic at the Te Atatū offramp and on the run from police, Waka Kotahi and Auckland Council Animal Management. 

But on Thursday afternoon his motorway rampage came to an end, when the pig succumbed to food. 

Footage from Waka Kotahi showed him taking the bait at around 3pm and entering a cage on the side of Te Atatū Road. 

Animal Management Officer Jade Cathcart said it took a few goes and the right food to win him over. 

"We just googled what do pigs eat and came up with corn, melons and bananas, yeah, he took to the bananas ate them all up and set the trap off." 

Then he was loaded onto a trailer and brought to the Henderson Animal Shelter. 

Auckland Council workers trapped a plucky pig that ran wild.

Auckland Council workers trapped a plucky pig that ran wild. Photo: Supplied / Auckland Council

While he looks cute, his highway sunbathing shenanigans have been disrupting traffic and causing plenty of road rage. 

"We had a lot of calls coming through, like at least three a day and it was just impossible to catch on foot." 

Cathcart said the road hog was not only smart but fast.  

"The first week that the pig was there me and I think four other policemen were just tracking through that bush part and it was near impossible, he just ran straight through."

The pig will remain at the Henderson shelter for the next seven days, and after that he will be up for adoption. There has already been a lot of interest. 

Aaron Neary had been leading the animal management team's efforts and was relieved the chaos had come to an end. 

"Elated [we] finally got the pig. I was thrilled when I got the call, we were hammered by the fact that it is a motorway, we can't run around chasing a pig too many times when there's a risk that he's gonna cause an accident." 

Auckland Council workers safely captured the pig, who will be rehomed.

Auckland Council workers safely captured the pig, who will be rehomed. Photo: Supplied / Auckland Council

At the moment Neary said there were still no leads as to where he came from. 

"No idea, we think he may have jumped off the back of a truck and then ran into the bush there, but at this stage we're not sure." 

In the meantime he is back to doing what he does best, feasting.